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Teachers' contract approved

Published January 20. 2010 05:00PM

Teachers in the Palmerton Area School District will receive a new three-year contract that calls for a 3 percent increase in their salaries.

The school board unanimously agreed on Tuesday to ratify the collective bargaining agreement between the district and the Palmerton Area Education Association.

The term of the agreement is between July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012. Teachers had been working without a contract since their two-year contract expired in June.

Board President Barry Scherer announced after the contract was approved that a few minor details must still be finalized.

As part of the new pact, teachers will see a 3.16 percent increase this year, 3.17 percent next year, and 2.72 percent in the final year, according to director Carol Dwyer.

However, Dwyer said teachers will also pay more in medical benefits. She said a single teacher will pay $390 this year, $520 next year, and $585 in the final year; a family of two will pay $585, $715, and $845; and a family will pay $780, $910, and $1,040.

Also on Tuesday, the board unanimously agreed to authorize the use of services from Barry Isett and Associates in bid preparation for the Coal Bowl remediation project.

Superintendent Carol Boyce previously said the district expected to receive its $20,000 check sometime this month for the remediation of the playground area.

Also at that time, Boyce said the district would have to cap a portion of the playground area, either at six inches, or 12 inches.

If the district were to cap at six inches, she said there could be no additional use at the playground area. However, if it were to cap at 12 inches, Boyce said the district could pursue a playground.

The committee said it would like to cap the playground area 12 inches. Boyce said doing so would enable the district to receive assistance from the P.T.O. and Beautification Committee.

However, Boyce cautioned that the district must use clean soil. She said the district has soil on the junior high/senior high campus that came from the Towamensing Elementary project.

Another option, Boyce said, is for the district to keep the soil in reserve for the potential addition of more practice fields.

Based on rough estimates, Boyce said new soil would cost $11,000, while stockpile soil would cost $4,700.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the 2010-11 Proposed Secondary Budget for Carbon Career & Technical Institute, which calls for receipts and expenditures in the amount of $6,649,542, for final adoption by resolution.

• Approved a five-year proposal for student transportation services with Leon A. George II, School Buses, Inc., for the term beginning July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2015.

• Approved a contract with Provident Energy to provide consulting services in connection with electricity procurement, and to approve the recommendation of Provident Energy to enter into a two-year contract with Constellation New Energy (CNE) for retail electricity purchasing, pending solicitor's review.

• Approved PlanCon J for the Palmer Franklin Education Center to be submitted to PDE.

• Approved the Taxpayer Relief Act, also known as ACT 1, resolution.

• Acknowledged receipt of the Title I Academic Achievement Award in recognition of a Title I school making AYP for two or more consecutive years in the amount of $1,800.

• Tabled the second reading and adoption of the revision of Policy 810.2 - Employee & Volunteer Driver History Records.

• Approved the second reading and adoption of new Policy 815 - Acceptable Use of Technology.

• Approved the first and final reading of the revision of Policy 008 - Organization Chart.

• Revised the 2009-10 school calendar to reflect a half-day on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

• Accepted the Single Audit Report of the Palmerton Area School District for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009.

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